Down the drain.

Whenever Iraq has a bad day, I remind Alan of that afternoon in Fort Wayne, in a news meeting at the alma mater, where he sniffed at the proposed layouts and headlines for the we-are-declaring-victory story. (I can’t recall what the “news” was; might have been the Mission Accomplished photo op.)

“We’re going to be there for YEARS,” he announced to the room, to scowls from all.

This was, what, 2003? I don’t think even Alan foresaw the disaster currently unfolding in Iraq, which must rank at the Worst Possible end of the potential-outcomes continuum when we launched this stupid-ass war. If we even considered the outcomes. And yet, I’m not getting a sense that George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz et al are lying in bed staring holes in the ceiling at 3 a.m. I just don’t. Do you?

So. Nearly the weekend. I posted this photo on Facebook yesterday, but I thought y’all might like it, too:


My father was such a stick-in-the-mud sometimes. This was a trip my mother and I took in 1972-ish, by ourselves — he didn’t want to go — to southern Spain and across the straits to Tangiers, where this photo was taken. Travel is very broadening, and these are some of the things I learned: the elements of Moorish design, that champagne could be lethal (first time I ever got hammered; we were watching flamenco dancers), and that the souvenir striped djellaba will never be worn at home, despite what Graham Nash said. The proprietor of one restaurant in a mountain village had the English section of the menu marked with a Union Jack, and said he wouldn’t change it to the U.S. flag until we booted Richard Nixon from office.

I haven’t looked at this picture in a hundred years, or thought of that restaurant owner in a hundred and one. Funny, the power of a picture.

So, I guess everyone read George Will’s vile column about how college women look forward to being raped, so they can gain the “coveted status” of victimhood. The internets have filled up with rebuttals, but this one was the best I’ve read, and also the hardest to get through. As always when I read stuff like this, I wonder what has happened to young men that they would prefer having sex with an unconscious woman over whatever minimum effort it might take to find one through the conventional way.

I guess you’d have to ask Elliot Rodger that one.

Anything else? Brian Dickerson takes apart just why, in this state of roads so bad they resemble Somalia’s, that the legislature still can’t get it together to fix them.

And the weekend begins! It seemed like it’d never get here.

Posted at 12:30 am in Current events |

46 responses to “Down the drain.”

  1. alex said on June 13, 2014 at 7:20 am

    George Will wrote that column because being politically incorrect is a coveted status. And being logically and factually incorrect at the same time in the universe of right-wing punditry makes him a triple-threat.

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  2. adrianne said on June 13, 2014 at 7:52 am

    Vile is the word for that George Will column. If anything, rape and sexual assault are vastly underreported on college campuses and elsewhere. His sneering description of rape victims as privileged is unbelievable. But he’s probably welcoming the backlash, unfortunately.

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  3. beb said on June 13, 2014 at 8:43 am

    The Springwells water Filtration Plant, at least the offices and labs was designed with Moroccan elements. It’s quite charming but for some reason everything seems built to 0.8 scale. Everything seems … small. But charming, Of course no one ever tours the building so all the architectural flourishes are kind of wasted.

    I haven’t read George Will’s essay on rape, largely because I haven’t bothered to read him in years. But arguing that being raped is some cachet for empowered women is right up there with arguing that Blacks loved being slaves and that homosexuality was a choice. All these things are so obviously wrong and yet they don’t see it that way. I suppose it’s because it cuts into their sense of privilege and entitlement.

    One weird part of the state legislature’s inability to fix the damn roads was their determination to change how the tax was assessed. Instead of the consumer paying a per gallon tax, a system already in place and running smoothly, they wanted to switch to a tax on the wholesale cost of gas. Perhaps they thought that a tax on the wholesale price would be invisible to consumers unlike an increase in the per gallon tax. And thus it would appear that they hadn’t raised taxes at all.

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  4. Pam (the sister) said on June 13, 2014 at 8:51 am

    Was that camel as fragrant as he looks? Bill is the same way, he won’t travel either. That’s why I took all the girl’s vacations. Best memories.

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  5. brian stouder said on June 13, 2014 at 9:21 am

    Let me just say that the photograph on this post is the single coolest thing I’ve seen this week, and it surely counteracts any Friday-the-13th bad magumbo.

    My 2014 method of taking photos is – snap and snap and snap again. Then, we can cull through and keep the goodies and delete the blurries.

    But, not that many years ago, every snap was going to cost money, and you wouldn’t know if you actually got any good photos (let alone great ones, like Nance’s mom’s!) until weeks later when they came back from the developer. And indeed – really great photos were a somewhat rare treat. Thanks for sharing such a day-brightener

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  6. Deborah said on June 13, 2014 at 9:23 am

    My ex hated to travel too, he would only go on trips to visit relatives. He thought travel was a waste of money. My husband now loves to travel, he has visited 6 continents. I’ve only been to 3, North America, Europe and Asia. He’s also been to So America (Brazil), Africa (Egypt) and Australia (Perth I think). Some of that for both of us was for work.

    Love the camel photo.

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  7. coozledad said on June 13, 2014 at 9:27 am

    To fully understand George Will’s column, you have to look at the philosophical moorings of the Republican male vis a vis issues of consent in regard to the heterosexual transaction. Women are like blacks seeking the coveted status of eligibility* as major league ball players when they seek to trade on the two avenues of approach a Republican male has to getting anywhere close to a vagina or anything else, for that matter: Force or cash.

    I guess Iraq has achieved that coveted status of nations that have had the US’s dick forced up their ass. Way to go Iraq, wearing that halter top and tight shorts, with the oilunderwear peeking out at the fullest portion of the buttock.

    How could she have expected vital men like Bush and Cheney not to act on their extraordinary masculine impulses. And how could she not expect George Will not to hang around and wait to sniff the panties?
    Bitch had it coming.

    *Baseball metaphor awkward, but necessary in any attempt to discuss philosophical moorings of lipless panty sniffer George Will.

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    • nancy said on June 13, 2014 at 9:40 am

      Alive, kicking and salty as ever.

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  8. Mindy said on June 13, 2014 at 9:39 am

    “lipless panty sniffer.” I want to be Cooz when I grow up.

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  9. brian stouder said on June 13, 2014 at 9:46 am

    And I laughed out loud at the last sentence, which tied the whole thing together quite neatly! (Up ’til then, the baseball metaphor was lost on me, just as 2014 America appears to be lost on Will)

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  10. 4dbirds said on June 13, 2014 at 9:47 am

    Not only did George Will write that disgusting column, Fred Hiatt defended him on it. I revisit my old photos every so often. In my youth I put away pictures that I didn’t think flattered me and now, when I don’t give a shit, I look at photos and see such gems. Why did I ever think certain photos made me look so ugly. Youth is beauty in itself. As for Iraq. I too knew that was going to be our hell for a long time. We own this and none of our options are any good. People will die because of us and W. will paint his toes in a bathtub.

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  11. Deborah said on June 13, 2014 at 10:31 am

    Can I just say again how much I love this blog and the commenters. Welcome back Coozledad.

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  12. Bitter Scribe said on June 13, 2014 at 10:34 am

    I would like to lock Will in a room with a few hundred rape survivors for an in-depth discussion of their “coveted status.”

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  13. brian stouder said on June 13, 2014 at 10:49 am

    But back to the photo! I associate camels with desserts and sun, while that photo appears to show people who were dealing with a chilly day. Gotta love the woman to the right, with her back turned to the camera. That coat pops even in B&W; one wonders what it looks like in color! Plus – what is she sharing with that man? In fact, many of the people look positively all-dressed-up (including what could be part of Nancy’s Secret Service detail, on the left). The people in the background on the left appear to be waiting for a train…or to tee off….

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  14. brian stouder said on June 13, 2014 at 10:50 am


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  15. Charlotte said on June 13, 2014 at 11:08 am

    Wow. What about this story? The return of debtor’s prison, for truant kids? And now the lady is dead?

    And George Will is a tool. Who clearly resents the mere concept of consent.

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  16. Kath said on June 13, 2014 at 12:18 pm

    Kudos to your mother Nancy for being bold enough to travel overseas with just the two of you. I doubt many women of her generation would have done something similar, especially without a male escort. A few years ago, I flew to Seattle, rented a car, and drove to my aunt and uncle’s house in the suburbs. My aunt was astounded that I had come all that way by myself.

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  17. brian stouder said on June 13, 2014 at 12:18 pm

    I mean – wow.

    Just in general.

    (at this moment, the headlines scream derision at the SecState and POTUS – because the bastards don’t wanna make lots more memorial markers for Arlington, in Iraq)

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  18. Connie said on June 13, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    I think my parents made that same trip across the straits in 1972, as part of their trip to Torremolinos.

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  19. Scout said on June 13, 2014 at 1:16 pm

    We did the Gibralter channel crossing too, in 2000. We spent a week touring the Costa del Sol and Seville, and one of our side trips was the ferry to Morocco. The photo we have with camels, fez hats and snakes around the neck are hilarious. The funniest memory from that tour was the lunch we were served that consisted of some kind of mush and a different tiny poultry part for each person. I think I got a neck, someone else got a wing, most of it was unidentifiable. We were entertained by a “belly dancer” who was wearing thick pink sweatpants with a bangly scarf wrapped over her hips and a bangly bra worn over the matching sweat shirt. I’m sure George Will would have approved of her dedication to avoiding ‘coveted status’.

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  20. Julie Robinson said on June 13, 2014 at 1:20 pm

    Doesn’t George Will have a special needs son? You’d think it would make him more sensitive. Hateful.

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  21. Dorothy said on June 13, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    Charlotte – I’m really enjoying The Light Years by Elizabeth Jane Howard! I’ve had the book a week and am half way through it. I’m not getting any stitching done but that’s okay. I’ve needed a break from it. Thanks again for the suggestion. We’re going fishing tomorrow and it will definitely be packed for the pontoon boat we’re renting.

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  22. Jenine said on June 13, 2014 at 2:40 pm

    Hurray for EJH! Those books are full of very specific places and characters described with wonderful sensory details. The governess living independently with her economies broke my heart.

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  23. MichaelG said on June 13, 2014 at 3:20 pm

    Great picture! That’s Kate’s mom for sure!

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  24. Dexter said on June 13, 2014 at 3:35 pm

    I wonder if the photo here is the reason I dug out a copy of “Sons of the Desert” (Laurel and Hardy) and watched it during my insomnia early today.

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  25. Dave said on June 13, 2014 at 3:57 pm

    I love those guys, Dexter.

    Whoever suggested Pictures from a Trip by Tim Rumsey last week, thank you. I found there are two copies at the ACPL and snagged one before Brian or Julie beat me to it. Yes, Brian, wasn’t really worried about you, know that you don’t really read fiction. Enjoying it so far.

    Going through old pictures is like finding unexpected treasure at times. Sadly, we’ve got a lot of pictures that were my grandparents and, as often happens, no one now knows who a lot of the people are. Wish someone had written it down.

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  26. Dave said on June 13, 2014 at 3:59 pm

    Oh, and yesterday, while Iraq was falling apart, GW was watching his 90 year old father jump out of a helicopter. He didn’t look very regretful.

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  27. Sherri said on June 13, 2014 at 4:12 pm

    On Iraq, anybody reading Molly Ivins back in the day had a clue that this was a potential, even likely, outcome:

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  28. Julie Robinson said on June 13, 2014 at 4:47 pm

    How I miss Molly. Referring to W as Shrub was perfect.

    A friend bought one of those djellabas and wore it all the time around the house because he could go pantsless.

    And with that, let the weekend begin. Time to dig out that Father’s Day card I bought three weeks ago. Much steak will be consumed.

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  29. alex said on June 13, 2014 at 9:52 pm

    An unanticipated surprise from far out of right field…

    Because when you’re trying to make yourself a useful distraction with a contract at Fox, it’s good to elicit compassion for the very people you were just shafting a minute ago.

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  30. Sue said on June 13, 2014 at 11:24 pm

    Dear Politicians and Pundits pushing for yet another ‘intervention’ in Iraq:
    First, tell us how you are going to fund this. No more unfunded wars, you’re not getting away with THAT again. So what will you be taking away from me and my neighbors to fund this? Do you plan on, say, taking food away from non-rural children to pay for this? What vulnerable part of the population gets to pay the price for this? Be specific.
    Next, tell us how you are going to screw our veterans after the fact. Because you will. Are you going to hire people specially to find ways to deny coverage, like Bush did? Or will the neglect be more passive, like the most recent scandal on a Dem president’s watch, barely bothering to acknowledge a scandal until you are forced to deal with it?
    To paraphrase a recent president: fool us once, we’re just your basic American voters. Fool us twice, not on your life or the lives of our young people. Screw you.

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  31. Basset said on June 14, 2014 at 7:10 am

    Anyone else asking that Fathers’ Day not be observed at their house?

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  32. alex said on June 14, 2014 at 9:35 am

    Fortunately for me, Basset, I don’t have to ask. I won’t pay a tithe to Hallmark but I might still go clean my dad’s gutters or make myself useful somehow.

    In honor of that great photo above, some sound effects. From the same era and half a world away:

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  33. Basset said on June 14, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    Alex, I’m looking at it from the dad, not the son, direction.

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  34. Deborah said on June 14, 2014 at 5:17 pm

    We’re grilling tonight, rib eyes, veggies on skewers and corn on the cob on the side (not grilled). Vanilla ice-cream for dessert. For fathers’s day we’re making a hearty breakfast of bacon and eggs with fried potatoes, which is what my husband asked for, Little Bird (his step-daughter) will be cooking along with me. Then he leaves in the late afternoon tomorrow for Chicago.

    I didn’t mention this earlier because I didn’t know if it would pan out, and it didn’t, but I had another possible gig to be a model for a photoshoot for another ad. It’s in Chicago and the timing was not working for me, it will be Monday. This time for a newish hotel in Chicago’s loop area called The Wit. The producer who called me said they were looking for an older woman, then she softened that by saying they were looking for a sophisticated Meryl Streep type older woman. The shoot will have 9 different “characters”, people who they are targeting to stay at the hotel. I never found out how the ad was going to be used (print or web?). Anyway, I think it would have been fun and they were going to pay me twice as much as I made that time a couple of years ago. Oh well, it wasn’t meant to be.

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  35. Dorothy said on June 14, 2014 at 7:04 pm

    Oh how cool that would’ve been, Deborah! If they thought of you for this job, I feel sure they will for subsequent ones.

    Happy Father’s Day to all of you cool Daddios in nn.c land!!

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  36. brian stouder said on June 14, 2014 at 10:15 pm

    Today Pam and the whole crew and I attended the 92nd Commencement Ceremony* for South Side High School, which was a superb event, and which dovetailed nicely with Father’s Day.

    Then it was off to dinner at Tucano’s Brazilian Grill, which was also quite marvelous.

    And now – I’m outta’ gas

    *The joke is – that thing lasted a lot longer than 90 seconds! But it was good stuff

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  37. LAMary said on June 14, 2014 at 10:27 pm

    Fathers Day is complicated here at Casa LAMary. Only one of the sons has any interest in even seeing his father and I do my best to encourage them to visit and observe the day anyway. I suspect there are lots of households with variations on that theme.

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  38. Dexter said on June 15, 2014 at 4:20 am

    Post-secondary schooling or run off to the military?

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  39. Deborah said on June 15, 2014 at 9:41 am

    Happy Fathers Day! (Father’s? Which should it be?)

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  40. coozledad said on June 15, 2014 at 10:40 am


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  41. beb said on June 15, 2014 at 12:28 pm

    The story of the Oregon shooter get weirder because the Mormon minster who attended to his family appears to be some sort of master gun-maker so the boy was immerse in gun lore. Was this a good or bad thing I don’t know. Then again where did he get the idea that it was up to him to eliminate “sinners” from this world. It all goes to show that religion is the PCP of the world (excluding Jeff, who’s a good man).

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  42. coozledad said on June 15, 2014 at 5:23 pm

    Miz Lindsey and McCain are gettin’ the old band back together, but they just can’t find the sound. Once they get old ‘Skunk’ Lieberman, they’re going to burn this motherfucker down.

    Death, We hear you callin’
    But we can’t come over now
    McCain and the boys hit the talk shows
    But we can’t find the old sound

    Just a few more hours
    on Dancin’ Dave and Fox
    Then we’ll be back ballin
    With our 9/11 cocks
    9/11 cocks

    You say Iraq’s so empty
    Since we left it all alone
    While me and the boys scream Benghazi!
    we ain’t blowed shit up so long

    Just a few more hours
    While Romney runs again
    And Johnny McCain shits his trousers
    And Lindsey wipes his chin

    His flappy, triple chin

    Death, I know you’re lonely
    But we know you’ll be alright
    ‘Cause me and the boys will beat off to you
    All night

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  43. Jolene said on June 15, 2014 at 5:24 pm

    Seen on Twitter: The Bush/Cheney guys have some advice on Iraq. Mitt’s explaining how to win the presidency. Next, Newt explains how to care for a sick wife.

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  44. brian stouder said on June 15, 2014 at 6:48 pm

    I think Jolene just won the Father’s Day thread!

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  45. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 15, 2014 at 7:34 pm

    I thought we were an opiate of the people? 😉

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